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What We Learned From Friday's Media Availability

WR Chris Conley, K Cairo Santos, WR Albert Wilson and OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif spoke with the media Friday


Q:On vets jumping into practice?

CONLEY: "Our rookies have been out here, and we've heard that they've had some great practices so far. So, the vets are ready to jump in."

Q:Talk about the excitement of getting back out there?

CONLEY: "We're ready to play some more football. Last year ended the way we didn't want it to. We won 11 straight games. We were riding a huge high, and we ended on a low. So, we've been preparing and looking at all those things and mistakes this whole off-season, and the guys have been working extremely hard, so we're glad to get back."

Q:How do you feel about your comfort level coming into camp this year compared to last?

CONLEY: "I feel a lot better. At this point, there's a better understanding of the offense and of what is expected of me, of what my team needs of me and how to execute. When you can eliminate all those distractions and those thoughts, you can just play football."

Q:How do you look at Eric Berry's situation and the business side of the game?

CONLEY: "You know really when it comes down to it, it really is a business. In this business, it's always next man up. That's the way that they coach and that's the way that this team has always been. If one person goes down or isn't there, another person stands up. So, we'll be ready."

Q:On value of getting taste of playoff game last year?

CONLEY: "Talking to a lot of other guys who were in this league, many people don't get to experience the playoffs in their whole career – much less that early in their career. So, being able to know what playoff football is, the intensity that it has and what it takes to win a game there is valuable to us."

Q:Can you explain the relationship between Albert Wilson, Jeremy Maclin and yourself?

CONLEY: "We spent pretty much the whole off-season together. We spent about two weeks at home and after that, we came back up here. We were staying with each other, we worked out with each other every day and we spent a lot of time together off the field. Just getting to know each other – getting to the point where we trust each other, so we can call each other out. Really Jeremy (Maclin) has helped us understand our game better and understand what this offense needs from us receivers to do their job."

Q:What were the benefits of staying in Kansas City?

CONLEY: "It eliminates travel time. Travel time does a lot of things to your body. It dehydrates you, messes with your joints. Just being able to be here with our strength staff – they do a great job of preparing us. Just being able to watch film in our building and workout with our guys. It keeps us at home, keeps us centered and keeps us focused."

Q:Do you think the tempo is going to be quicker for the rookies?

CONLEY: "I think so. I think there is an adjustment that everyone has to go through in that group. They'll try and ease them in as much as they can, but when you hit the ground, you hit the ground running."

Q:What advice would you give to the rookie wide receivers in the first game?

CONLEY: "Breathe. That's the biggest one. You can get to a point where you're thinking so much about what your play is, what your route is that you forget to breathe. It sounds simple, but being able to keep your composure, take deep breaths and line back up is so important."

Q:What's the biggest thing you have improved on from last year?

CONLEY: "I think focus. Focus is a big thing that has to go into what I just said as well. Just being able to quiet your mind, and really focus on the task at hand, and not really worry about who's next to you, or where the DB is and what he's doing. Just focusing on your route and the ball."

Q:How big of a camp do you feel like this is for you personally?

CONLEY: "I feel like it's huge. I feel like every opportunity that we have to step on the field is important and being that I missed so much of camp last year, this is an awesome opportunity for me to get better in this offense and get better as a player."


K CAIRO SANTOS Q:Your luggage looks a lot lighter this year than last year, is that accurate?

SANTOS: "Yeah it is. I'm learning and becoming more and more like a veteran. I'm learning to pack less. We always get a day off to go home and wash our stuff so there is no reason to pack a whole lot. It makes it a whole lot easier when we don't have to pack a bunch of luggage."

Q:How excited are you to get a new season underway?

SANTOS:"This is the best time of the year in my opinion. It's such a long offseason without games, practices, and seeing everyone as part of this routine. That's my favorite part of the year when we're back into the routine of things. I don't know if I'll be getting much sleep tonight as excited as I am to get this season rolling."

Q:What's your max distance?

SANTOS:"I'm not sure if I'm growing or getting stronger. I feel like every year I'm kicking further and further. We ended mini-camp on a 63-yarder. I keep pushing myself. It's tough to have those situations in a game but I continue working toward those limits so if the team ever needs me to be, I can come through for them."

Q:Do you wear a different cleat on your kicking foot?

SANTOS:"I do. The planting foot has a little bit bigger stud on it and the kicking cleat a shorter one so it doesn't catch as much of the grass. The kicking cleat is also lighter weight."

Q:Are the two cleats different brands?

SANTOS:"I have a sponsorship with Nike. They are two different cleats. One is a football cleat and one is a soccer cleat." 

Q:Is there less material between the foot and the ball on the kicking cleat?

SANTOS:"These past two seasons I've worn a thinner cleat called the Nike 'Vapor' which is a thinner leather. I just switched over to a new shoe called the 'Tiempo' which is a thicker leather. I noticed in the cold weather my foot would hurt when I hit the ball so I had to limit myself in warmups. I went with the thicker shoe with hopes that it will absorb a little more of the cold weather."

Q:How do you prepare yourself for the pressure of games coming down to you?

SANTOS:"I put myself in those situations in practice and we run a lot of two-minute drills as well. Even when there's no one out there watching, I still put myself in those situations. That way when I'm in the game, and in the situation, I can tell myself, 'I've been there before.' Our coaches do a good job of putting me in those situations as well."

Q:So it's more of a situational thing and not necessarily the crowd?

SANTOS:"I actually prefer to kick with the crowd noise. They always make a constant noise so it tunes everything out. When we're at practice I can hear every little thing going on between the noises, different conversations, etc. During a game there is just one constant noise and I can tune it out." 

Q:How do things change at practice with the veterans at camp?

SANTOS:"Competition wise, things change. Early on is a good time for the coaches to see what the rookies are made of and what they have to offer. Once the veterans show up, that's when the real competition begins. We're all really excited to see what this rookie class is made of. I've been reading a few things here and there about Tyreek and what he's done. I personally was able to see what he did at OTAs. We're excited to see what he'll bring once the season begins."

Q:Coach talked about the playoff carryover from playoffs last season.* *Being just a couple of games away and a win from some of the team's goals, what does that mean to you at training camp this year?

SANTOS:"Confidence, experience, and being able to get two playoff games under my belt was great last year. And just building the 11-game win streak in itself. We return most of the core guys from that team and it's exciting. We're looking to build on it and it all starts right here at training camp." 



Q:Time for camp, are you excited?

WILSON: "Definitely, pretty much ready to go. I know what to expect and ready to grind."

Q: What do you bring with you to camp that's unusual? Do you have to have anything special to get you through the dog days of the dorms?

WILSON: "No, I'm just coming to show up to go day in and day out to work hard."

Q: A couple days ago coach said there was value for the players to get a taste of success in the playoffs, get a couple of games, what did that mean to you in terms of being able to carry it over?

WILSON: "Getting into that playoff situation so early in my career and just knowing how great the experience is, definitely brings over that dog inside you that wants to get back there every time you touch the field before season."

Q: Make you want to work harder for this year?

WILSON: "Definitely does."

Q: What did you take from last year?

WILSON: "Just know what we have as a team, and just know when we come together and play as one. Be very coachable as a unit that we can pretty much do what we want."

Q: Do you anticipate your role is going to change as a wide receiver in this offense this season?

WILSON: "I just try to do more, pretty much whatever the coaches need me to do, whether it's inside or outside, just pretty much get my job done."

Q: Do you feel like there's more competition at your position this year then there were in years past?

WILSON: "I think the coaches do a great job every year to get competition in, then the guys work as hard as they can to put the best guy out on the field, to give the Chiefs as an organization the best chance to win."

Q: Do you feel like this is the best the team has been since you've been here?

WILSON: "I definitely think we have a lot of talent. Like I said, coaches do the best job to bring the best guys they can to compete to put the best 11 players on offense and defense."

Q: Talk about how when you guys are practicing, and how the DB's help better your game just going against them?

WILSON: "Competition. Pretty much everybody knows they have no room for slipups. So every day we go out there and compete against each other is friendly competition, we're playing against our defense for the next three weeks so as soon as we step on the field it's us against them every down."

Q: There are a lot of guys that have been here for a while, yourself included, and do you feel like there's going to be a lot of roster turnover this year?

WILSON: "I feel like we had a great team last year, and I feel like the guys they bring I'm sure they think they can help us."

Q: Do you feel like health was the main issue last year for you guys, and nothing else?

WILSON: "Definitely. With football, everybody is good so pretty much whoever can hold on and be the healthiest when the seasons over with pretty much has the better chance of winning a championship." 

Q: Is there anything you can do here at training camps that can help you in the playoffs at the end of season?

WILSON: "Just go in and grind. You're going to be sore, you're going to have nicks and bruises, but I feel like the seasons starts here. You have to go in and work day in and day out."

Q: What did you do to stay in shape from when you guys broke your minicamp to now, how did you maintain that sharpness?

WILSON: "I stayed here. Me, Chris (Conley) and (Jeremy) Maclin were here, five days a week, Monday through Friday. We would pretty much just wake up, the strength and conditioning coaches did a great job to keep me in shape to get me ready for training camp."

Q: Talk about Maclin being the veteran that he is, to pass on to teach younger guys?

WILSON: "His work ethic. Like I said before, he's not much of a talkative person but when you're in the weight room and on the field with him, day in and day out for the whole offseason, then you know how hard he works." 

The Kansas City Chiefs veteran players report to training camp


Q:How excited are you to be here now, actually in your dorm room ready to go?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"I'm looking forward to it. I think it's going to be a great bonding activity. We're going to be here for two and half weeks and we're just going to go all out football, our focus is going to be on football and we're just going to think football. It's going to be good to be with the teammates and like I said, great bonding activities. "

Q:Does camp slow down after you've been through it, you're not a rookie anymore you're the old grizzled vet?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"A little bit, but it's still a grind. It's still going to be physically challenging and everything is to prove. Yes, I'm older now but I think I still have to prove myself and to prove to the coaches that I'm able to play."

Q:What did the playoff experience mean and what will you bring over to training camp?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"I think you realize why we're working so hard right now in order to be fresh and be in a comfortable zone when the playoffs start. I think we're grinding throughout the training camp in order to be able to shine during the playoffs, and that's my focus and that's how I approach training camp this year."

Q:Can you talk about how much more knowledgeable you are about the NFL since you've been a part of the Chiefs?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"It's night and day, when I started it was kind of rough, I had to learn a lot about football and American football. In Canadian football you play with a yard in between the D-Lineman and the O-Lineman, and 12 men on the field, and the field is bigger. Everything changes when you come here so I think I've learned a lot and to be able to play last year a lot it really helped me to constantly be improving my knowledge of football."

Q:So you're more comfortable now?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"Yeah I would say so."

Q:Despite the turnover you guys have had on the offensive line it seems like you guys still have a pretty good group, would you say that?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"Yeah absolutely. I think last year we were able to see that even though guys were changing and moving around, we still had a pretty good O-Line toward the second part of the season and I think that showed that we have a lot of depth and that everybody's confident. When everybody's able to play a little bit at every position, when you need somebody to jump in at left guard instead of right guard then nobody is scared about it. It's just like the next guy can come in and just roll with it."

Q:What have you thought of Parker Ehinger so far?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"Oh he's good. He's really athletic and he's learning well so far, and I'm looking forward to see what he's going to do during this camp."

Q:Is he ahead of where you would say most rookies are at this point?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"Well he's ahead of where I was when I first got here, but to be honest I don't know what's the standard, I just know there's a lot of football left before the first game of the season and we'll see how's going to develop."

Q:Are you continuing your work toward becoming a doctor?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"Yeah, I was actually back in Montreal and I did 15 shifts of emergency medicine at the trauma center in Montreal. I just closed that deal a week ago and now my focus is on football."

Q:How long did you do that?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"15 shifts was roughly 3 weeks. So like 5 shifts a week."

Q:What's the next step from there medical wise?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"After the Super Bowl I go back to Canada [laughing] and I finish my four more months of med school and then I'm a doctor."

Q:When you explain NFL training camps to your friends from home how do you break it down for them?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"I'm telling them it's probably the most difficult experience physically and mentally that you're going to go through, but at the same time when you come out of it you're really proud of yourself and the things you're able to accomplish in such a small amount of time it's crazy. Like over the next six weeks the team is just going to get together and we're going to be ready to start our first match of the season up against the Chargers and I'm looking forward to it."

Q:Are you used to the heat yet?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"Nah [laughing] I don't think you can get used to that much heat at any point in your life, but I mean coming from Montreal of course it's a little bit different. But I did some spinning sessions in a sauna so I was able to find ways to get around it and work on it.

Q:Chris Jones said he was warned that this is the toughest camp in the NFL, I know you've only played for one team but could you speak to how tough this camp is?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"I mean you answered the question, I don't really know any other camp but it's challenging, but at the same time it's makes the season look a little bit easier I think. When you're grinding through six weeks of hard work when you get to the normal schedule of the season you realize that you have a little bit more of a break. Things on the field don't look as fast and when you do nine-on-seven and D-Line is expecting you to run the ball it's harder for us to make a good block as an O-Lineman so I think it makes the game look a little bit easier."



Q: Are you a Royals fan?

West: "I am, I'm a Kansas City Fan."

Q: How excited are you though to get things going because today's kind of the first official day for a new season?

WEST: "It's a blessing to be back here with my brothers, teammates, and coaches."

Q: How have you stayed in shape from the last time you saw them until now?

WEST:"Just working out and grinding every day, knowing what I have to do every day for the season"

Q: Is your role different this time when you come into camp after last season? Is your mindset a little different than it was a year ago?

 WEST: "I've still got the same mindset, just do what the team asks me to do."

Q: Okay what do you bring to make this dorm home sweet home for the next few weeks? We saw you carrying a picture, what do you bring with you?

WEST: "Just memories from the offseason, from family being with friends just talking to teammates. I mean I'm still here with family and I feel like it is home."

Q: But what was that picture you brought?

WEST: "I mean a guy just actually gave me that picture. So you know I mean I'm blessed and fortunate for that."

Q: And where is it going in the dorm room?

WEST: "In front of the door so when I walk out I see it every morning."

Q: Charcandrick can you in late July picture where you want this team to be in late December, early January?

WEST: "I mean we're really going to take it day by day and work as hard as we can."

Q: What do you think the competition is going to be like for your position?

WEST: "I'm here to just come out and play. We all love each other, we all are going to work hard so the best man's going to play"

Q: What kind of role model has Jamaal been?

WEST: "Outstanding, I mean I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Jamaal. So I'm very blessed to have him as a friend, as a brother, and as a teammate. Every guy in that room has helped me be to where I am today."

Q: How's he doing right now?

WEST:"He's doing great. You see Jamaal he's smiling always having a good time."

Q: In terms of popularity compare last years offseason, this year's offseason, considering what you did last year? 

WEST: "It's been crazy. I mean I'm still going to be me."

Q: Any pitfalls that you get to avoid, you being you?

WEST: "Not really, I'm just going to smile at everybody and keep being happy."

Q: You always this happy?

WEST: "Always, I'm alive."

Q: You're this happy after five straight days of long, sweaty, hot workouts?

WEST: "I'm still breathing, so yeah I'm happy"

Q: Last year everybody coming in and said they felt like this team was special. They had a special feeling about that year and they knew they were going to do something really good. Do you have a similar feeling this year? Is it different?

WEST: "I have that feeling. It's a bunch of special guys, special coaches in that locker room. So it's always going to be a special feeling. This is a great team atmosphere. Everybody comes in, works hard and does what they have to do."

Q: It seems like a lot familiar faces, does that help?

WEST: "It helps a lot. Just like OTA's we're going to come in and do what we have to do."

Q: Can you talk a little about what Eric Berry means to you guys and how much he'll be missed if he's not here?

WEST: "He's a leader, but I mean we know Eric. Eric's going to lead wherever he goes. We know what he expects of us though. He's going to be here with us at heart."

Q: He set the tone for that last year. As far as what he did, how did he?

WEST: "You don't even have to say it. You can just turn on a film and look at it."

Q: What kind of toothpaste do you use?

WEST: "Crest 3D White."

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